French journalist and author Anne Nivat has reported extensively on Chechnya, its war with Russia and post-war situation. She has also published a book, Chienne de Guerre: A Woman Reporter Behind the Lines of the War in Chechnya, about nine months she spent there during the war.
She tells Nieman Reports editor Melissa Ludtke about a particularly frightening experience when the car in which she was riding was stopped at a checkpoint outside of Grozny and driven away by an armed man.
So you can imagine my situation. Now I was without any possibility to contact the outside world. The guy kept driving in a totally mad way and I was saying to myself, “If this guy is not giving back my phone to me, that means that he has something in mind, something not good, because how come he doesn’t give me my phone back? How come he doesn’t want to explain who he is?”
It was really a terrible situation.